By Saif Khan
Shia killings in Quetta, or call it the Hazara genocide, owe not only condemnation but also an explanation. How come that in a specific time in history of the province, its Shia citizens face a brutal massacre?
Researches reveal that the causes have always been international political environment and the state policies inside its boundaries to protect ideological boarder of the state i.e. a state conceived in the holy month of Ramadan meant for ostensibly ‘Islamic-principles laboratory’. But what is specific about Hazara genocide in Quetta these days?
The following paragraphs would attempt to answer three questions. The answers might not be supported by hard facts, though, but it contains an interesting insight. First, why, most frequently, Hazara-Shias are being targeted in the state for over a decade? Second, Hazara lives elsewhere in Balochistan such as Loralai wherein no killing of Hazara has been reported yet, but why they are killed in the provincial capital? Third, which force is behind the killings and why the agency wants more Hazaras dead?
I suggest the answer lies within Balochistan, though an international account of the carnage can be taken as complementary explanation. Tax imposed on excavation of minerals in the province by Establishment under the pretext of imagined threats has strong affinity with Hazara killings in Quetta. Putting it otherwise, as the establishment stays longer Hazara genocide reaches beyond its previous records.
Looking in retrospect, the paramilitary force has failed to restore the languishing law and order situation of Balochistan. Except that the organization is performing exceptionally well in business sector of the region. To this end, precious marble stone in Loralai is being excavated under the force’s supervision. Also, heavy tax has been imposed on exaction of coal in Chamalang and Duki. Furthermore, few know that FC approached Nawab Jogezai and asked whether he could help the organization to impose tax on chromites’ excavation in Muslim Bagh? The organization, in return, promised him a prominent political position as a good gesture. All this transpired before last year election. However, JUIF’s provincial assembly representative, Moulana Wassy, needs appreciation who intrepidly opposed the establishment and pre-empted their ‘pernicious’ intentions. A friend of mine told me that the same situation exists in Baloch belt of the province too, of which I have less knowledge.
The paramilitary organization wants to extend its stay in Balochistan. The more they inhibit the province the more the organization would relish the tax imposed on mineral excavation. But to prevail they need a justification. What else can warrant them justification other than Hazara killings? The killings would always make an emergency situation and in consequence demands the organization’s presence. Hence, the answer not lies in Quetta, wherein the paramilitary force has check posts after every two miles. It has to be sought somewhere in Loralai, Muslim Bagh, Chamalang and other areas where the establishment’s financial activities are booming.
It seems ironical that despite the paramilitary’s substantial presence in Quetta and in and around Mastung they could not at least chase after terrorists. Furthermore, why no Hazara is killed anywhere else in Balochistan where the state writ is weaker as compared the provincial capital? How come despite the establishment presence in the region, LeJ and other Jihadists are burgeoning?
Perhaps, one reason could be that killing Hazaras in and around Quetta grabs attention of media easily. Moreover, creating an emergency situation in the capital makes it easy to run rest of the province once one has taken over its administration and bureaucracy. Also, killing Shias in rest of the Pakistan, perhaps, cannot make rich the establishment in shortest possible time the way it can do in Balochistan.
Hazara massacre, therefore, in Quetta makes the establishment rich by extending its presence. The more they stay in the province more would they able to impose tax on minerals excavation. Killing them in and around proximity of Quetta creates and emergency situation that is utilized by the establishment to makes its stay a little more and also works as a camouflage that makes its financial activities out of the sight.
Published in The Baloch Hal on January 26, 2014